Let’s be honest, cute and fun as Bostons are, they definitely don’t have that scholar look about them.
Are Boston Terriers any smarter than they look or are they just…you know, about as smart as they look?
How Smart Are Boston Terriers?
According to specific intelligence testing against other dog breeds, the Boston Terrier is a dog of average intelligence. Testing is usually based on a few factors like their intelligence when they work and their obedience smarts, but those are just the beginning when it comes to the true smarts of any dog.
Boston Terriers like many other popular dogs breeds rank average when compared is these types of tests.
While they may take about twenty-five or more repetitions to learn a new command, that doesn’t mean Boston Terriers lack smarts.
Some dog breeds that rank higher in smarts can learn a new command in under five repetitions, which doesn’t mean they’re smarter than the Boston Terrier.
Some Boston Terriers might be able to learn the new command in less than twenty-five repetitions, but it depends on the individual dog.
For the Boston Terrier, there are aspects of their mind and thought process that can help truly determine intelligence.
These are related to how they process information, how they adapt to certain situations, and how easily they solve problems and learn from mistakes.
When it comes to smarts for the Boston Terrier, there are also their instincts to factor into that equation and their ability to relate to and understand complex problems.
With so many parts of a dog’s brain and intelligence factoring into the whole picture, it can be hard for anyone to determine exactly how smart any dog breed is or not.
On top of that, not all dogs are the same in one breed.
Each dog is an individual with their own thought processes, experiences, and personality that also factor into how smart they are or will become.
Many Boston Terrier owners consider their dogs highly smart due to the combination of all these factors that make up the whole dog.
For instance, a Boston Terrier might not be considered highly smart when measured against other dogs regarding obedience.
This doesn’t mean that this dog is not smart or in any way inferior in intelligence.
Lack of obedience can mean that the dog has a mind of its own and chooses to honor and respond to those inner thoughts and processes that go against the trainer.
Obedience training may show smarts when it comes to following directions and accepting what is being taught.
However, it can never show how smart a dog is if they are an independent and stubborn dog who has their own thoughts and ideas.
The other aspect of smarts that psychologists factor into smarts when ranking one dog against another dog is their smarts when they work.
Since a Boston Terrier is a companion animal, this is their primary work or occupation.
Not all Boston Terriers are the same; therefore, a Boston Terrier may be asked to complete a series of tasks relating to work and may perform poorly at it.
This doesn’t mean that they are less smart or that the other dogs are smarter.
We each have our own gifts and abilities, some things we are good at, others we are not.
As any human knows, that doesn’t necessarily mean a person is smarter or less than another.
It means that one person has strengths in one area, and another has strengths in other areas.
Therefore, using this idea to compare one dog to another is flawed and limited in its accuracy in determining the smarts of a particular dog or breed.
It is by far better to look at the whole picture of the breed and individual dog to determine smarts and how dogs relate to one another.
In this way, comparisons will include their working and obedience smarts, and other factors like adaptability, their ability to solve a problem, and understanding and relating to the world around them.
When these factors are considered, it gives a clearer picture of the level of smarts a dog truly has regardless of their breeding.
The Boston Terrier can learn a new command in approximately twenty-five or slightly more repetitions.
This is average, and many popular dog breeds follow along the same lines regarding learning.
While this seems like a lot of repetitions when compared to other dog breeds, it is not the only thing that measures smarts.
How can I help my Boston Terrier be smarter?
Engaging your Boston Terrier is the best way to help them be smarter. It is important to engage the Boston Terrier in their life beyond obedience training.
This will mean that you should teach them things that don’t relate to obedience.
You will also want to put them in diverse situations that are safe but require problem solving and understanding.
If you want to help your Boston Terrier, be smarter you should make the dog a large part of your life.
You must include them in your life and tasks as you would a human child and use each moment to train or teach them about the world.
This can be done through playtime, and while they are out in the community, it can be done at every point in the day, from the dog park to the late-night walk and when the Boston Terrier is engaging with the house cat.
This may make the Boston Terrier smarter, but it should never be forced.
This learning should be about the dog being the smartest and best they can be every day.
The Boston Terrier will adore all this interaction and fun.
Their mind and body will expand and thrive, and they will grow healthier.
Boston Terriers are smart dogs regardless of what any testing or assessment scores can determine.
True intelligence and smarts can never be completely determined by testing, as so many things factor into true intelligence.
What can make a Boston Terrier behave more or less smart?
What can make a Boston Terrier behave more or less smart at any given moment is their personality, temperament, and environment.
Whatever the dog is thinking, feeling, and relating to in their environment can affect their behavior, attitude, and how they express their intelligence.
If a Boston Terrier lives in a stressful home, is hungry or hurting, or wants to do something else, they may not give the activity their full attention.
The dog might behave badly or ignore the task at hand, giving it only half their energy.
Like humans, dogs have feelings and thoughts that often affect their behavior and actions. When we remember this, it is easy to understand how that can affect learning and intelligence.
Fostering a healthy home and ensuring they are healthy is the best way to bring out the most in your Boston Terrier. When it comes to personality, temperament, and nature, what you get is what you have to work with and there may not be much that can be done except repetitive training. Some things can be modified; others can’t.
Smarts can never fully be measured when comparing one breed to another, and a far better measurement is comparing one dog to another regardless of breed.
Regardless of how the Boston Terrier scores during testing, they are still amazingly smart dogs when all factors of learning and intelligence are compared.
When we focus on the whole dog, each dog has its own gifts and strengths, making every dog smart beyond measure!